Leading the Baylor Lady Bears to a perfect 39-0 season so far and an NCAA Tournament Championship appearance, junior center Brittney Griner was named winner of the 2012 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T for Women's College Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday.
Griner, who beat out finalists Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame) and Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford), was recognized at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Awards Banquet at the 2012 Women's Final Four in Denver earlier this evening.
Griner was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, in addition to fan voting via text message, which accounted for 25 percent of the final results - more than any other national college basketball award. The voting academy based its criteria on player performances throughout the season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.
"Brittney's individual accomplishments, along with contributions to her team's success, made for a very strong case to be the Naismith Trophy winner," said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "We congratulate all the finalists for the successes they enjoyed over this past season."
Griner, a finalist for the 2011 Naismith Trophy, led the Baylor University Lady Bears to a perfect 33-0 record during the 2011-12 regular season and a No. 1 overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. The BIG 12 Player of the Year led the NCAA in blocked shots per game (5.14), and was second in field goal percentage (61.7 percent) and sixth in points per game (23.4). Season highlights include a 45-point outburst against Kansas State to break the Big 12 women's single-game scoring record and a 35-point performance against Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
"Congratulations to Brittany for the fantastic year she had which helped her win this award," said Jamie Kerr, Director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. "AT&T is proud to present the Naismith Trophy and applauds such a strong player for being recognized as a leader in women's basketball."
Today, the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is regarded as the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the women's college basketball player of the year.
Other notable Naismith Trophy past winners include Cheryl Miller (USC), Candace Parker (Tennessee), Dawn Staley (Virginia) and last year's winner, Maya Moore from UConn. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com .
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983.
The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball
Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.